Essentially for the sake of rounding, 9/11 happened half of my life ago. It was after my TBI (traumatic brain injury) so I was at home rehabilitating when it happened, I’m sure there are other people who are saying more eloquent things than what I will.
Shortly after 9/11 we had the D.C. sniper shootings and I remember school getting put on lockdown as the fear of only two hours drive wouldn’t stop them. When I went to VCU and we had the fire, I know what everyone’s first thought was when they saw the black cloud of smoke, but calmly everyone made sure they evacuated. I remember watching on the big screen in the bookstore as the media broadcast the murders of the contractors in Fallujah and deciding that there was no way I could work in television if they would show images of someone’s (albeit grown) child hanging from a bridge on constant loop. I had a friend who was in NYC that day and had taken pictures, ingrained in my mind is the image of an arm from the fingers to the elbow laying on the sidewalk, I can recall every detail of that image and I imagine that on my deathbed I will still. I have a fear of elevators because of a documentary on 9/11 and a survivor who recounted the sounds of those trapped inside plummeting to the bottom. It had never occurred to me until that moment what would have happened to people who happened to be in the elevators, but I certainly think about it every time I step in one.
The point that I’m trying to make is that terrible tragic things happen that will change us. Try to live your life without fear and be kind. You never know when something will happen and the people around you might save your life, or you might there’s. Don’t lump in a dominating feature of a person who has committed an atrocity in a way that all other people with that feature are now feared, we’re all humans, anyone has the ability to commit a heinous act. Taking care of the people who ran into help should be an obvious responsibility, but one that today the first responders have to fight for. Consider the families who have lived with their loss this long and continued to live afterward. We’re not really dead until we’re forgotten, so fight to live your life every day and leave the world around you better.